11 July 2018

Kenya/Tanzania: Exclusive - Gor Players Keep Off Dressing Room in Tanzania Over Witchcraft Claims

Photo: Nairobi News
Gor Mahia players change to their playing kits at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Gor Mahia players on Wednesday refused to use the dressing rooms at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam ahead of their clash against Tanzanian hosts Azam.

Sources in the team told Nairobi News that the odd decision was so as to 'avoid witchcraft' that could influence the outcome of the semi-final match of the Cecafa Kagame Cup.

The Kenyan champions opted to change to their playing kits in a verandah situated within the 60,000 seater stadium.

Pictures and a 40-second video exclusively obtained by Nairobi News show the K'Ogalo players changing into playing uniform in a verandah.

Football rules stipulate that players should utilise one of the four dressing rooms located in the stadium.

A senior football official who spoke to Nairobi News off the record at the venue also claimed that the dressing room in question had been 'treated'.

"Those are their beliefs and its upon them to do what they want. I wonder what they (Gor) will use when they come to play Yanga in the Confederation Cup later this month," added a Cecafa official who spoke off the record.

Incidentally, a similar incident involving Gor Mahia and Yanga occurred at the same venue back in 2015.

At the time, Yanga who were the hosts, refused to use the dressing room reserved for the home team which is traditionally used by their archrivals Simba. Gor meanwhile, insisted on occupying the 'away' dressing room leading to the standoff.

Tales of witchcraft and 'Juju' continue to dominate African football, with the most famous incident involving Togolese witchdoctor Togbui Assiogbo Gnagblondjro 3, who was reportedly paid by high ranking government officials so as to assist the national team perform well at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

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